Friday, May 18, 2018

“Dear Racism in School, your time is over!”

Students, parents, and friends from the statewide community organization, Californians for Justice, rallied on the steps of the capital in Sacramento yesterday calling for an end to racial injustice in the schools.

Sixty-four years after the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education called for desegregation in our schools, the California school system is still separate and still unequal.

Students of color face systemic racial injustice and nearly 40% of Black and Brown students in the state attend predominantly (90-100%) student of color campuses. These facilities are underfunded and resourced compared to predominantly white campuses.

Their new report, Why Race and Relationships Matter, is available for download at the link. It excels at sharing the feelings of the next generation of Californians.

School climate is a critical factor in behavioral, academic, and mental health outcomes, yet students of color experience a far less supportive school environment than their white peers.

  • In California, Black students are twice as likely as white peers to feel unsafe or very unsafe at school
  • More than half of Latinx students in California report feeling disconnected from school, and less than half report that they are treated fairly
  • In California, Asian students were among the least likely to believe their schools had caring adult relationships (30% of respondents, compared to 39% of white students
  • Black girls are suspended six times as often as their white peers, and Black and Latinx students are more likely to be referred for discipline violations and then suspended or expelled than white students

Trinity Harper, an Oakland student leader, had a message for Racism:

You have overstayed your welcome. You have negatively impacted the development of too many of our students, especially youth of color. You give us the illusion that we are incompetent which is something we are anything but… While you have been deeply ingrained into our schools and institutions it is now time we part. You will be replaced with solidarity, love, and constant evolution.

Let's hear it for the young people!

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

This is another of those-- how do you fix it situations. When my kids were in school, still living near Portland, they began a busing program from the big city to our smaller community. The kids would come in on a bus and leave when school was over. I don't know the end result for them but it was difficult to not have the after school connections. We invited one boy, from our son's class to our home several times and for a birthday party and we then drove him home. I remember calling the home to ask if it would be all right. I asked if i could speak to his mother or father. The sharp voice came back that he didn't have a father. I was used to two parent homes, although even then in our community 25% of the homes didn't have both parents. It'd be higher now, I am sure. I have wondered more than once how the boy did as we moved from there to the farm the next year. I don't think they continued the busing program. Portland had a system where kids could go to any high school or at least apply and didn't have to live near the school. A lot of the 'segregation' today is due to neighborhoods. As for violence in the schools, that can't all be blamed on society at large but maybe more a culture with less interest in being involved with their kids' schooling and often that is due to working too many jobs to pay the bill and still have time left for helping with homework. This is a situation where it's easy to see the problem-- less so to see the solution. Pointing fingers doesn't really fix anything.

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